Ta-Nehisi Coates isn’t too happy with a new HBO documentary that tries to puncture the mythology surrounding Muhammad Ali:
The core problem with this doc, as it is with most correctives, is that it subscribes to the same sort of moralistic, heavy-handed, simple-minded logic that it allegedly seeks to debunk. Thus while the public image of Ali as this gleaming unvarnished hero is ridiculous, Thrilla‘s answer is to offer an equally ridiculous image of Ali as a scheming villain who didn’t really win the two fights against Frazier, and robbed him of his rightful place as the greatest of all time.
I have a long post in mind about our (seemingly) increasing addiction to simplistic narratives and the (seemingly) increasing difficulty in finding writers who even try to avoid it these days. But since I haven’t written it yet, you won’t have to suffer through it right now. Maybe someday, though.